Fireworks Safety: Fireworks may trigger Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Local News

Wis. – (WLAX/WEUX) – While the fireworks that accompany the Fourth of July are fun for some, they can be traumatic for others.

The loud noises fireworks create can trigger PTSD in veterans.

Symptoms of a PTSD event include rapid respirations and a rise in heart rate.

Marcia Dunn with Gundersen Health System says fireworks can cause people who suffer from PTSD to have an exaggerated startle response.

Marcia Dunn, Gundersen Health System Outpatient Therapist said, “If someone has an exaggerated startle response, it’s not startle-relaxed it’s startle-fear, and it could take them ten-fifteen minutes to come down from that.”

Dunn says the best way to help someone going through a PTSD event is to have them focus on their breathing and remove them from the situation that triggered it.

She adds anyone who plans on lighting off fireworks should talk to their neighbors first.

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